Atari 2600: The Lord Of The Rings - Journey To Rivendell
Lord of the Rings: Journey to Rivendell was a video game that was scheduled to be released on the Atari 2600 and published by Parker Brothers. It was announced in 1983 in Parker Brothers catalog. However, it was never released, and it was believed to have had little or no work done on the game's coding. Twenty years later, a former Parker Brothers employee gave a prototype of the game to the operator of the AtariAge website. Surprisingly, the game was quite complex and seemed to be complete. Several characters from the book make appearances in the game, including Frodo Baggins, Sam Gamgee, Aragorn, Gandalf, Tom Bombadil, and Glorfindel.
Identifier atari_2600_lord_of_the_rings_the_-_journey_to_rivendell_the_lord_of_the_rings_i_1Mediatype softwareScanner Internet Archive Python library 0.4.8Publicdate 2013-12-25 11:09:07Addeddate 2013-12-25 11:09:07Emulator a2600Emulator_ext binController joystick
February 18, 2015
Kinda cool in a 2600 sort of way...
Being a fan of both LOTR and computer RPGs I give this a 4/5 stars. If you don't care for either category you should lower this by 1 star.
As the description says this is a fairly complex game considering the limits of the 2600 format. Middle Earth is large with varied (albeit repetitive) terrain. The game is sort of a missing link for eRPGs. You can see it's a step up from earlier games in which the player is a simple square in a simple maze, and you can also see it laying the foundations for the next generation of RPGs such as the first two Zelda games on the NES. As a bonus the game contains the usually neglected characters of Tom Bombadil and Glofindel.
As mentioned above there's some issues with it being repetitive. Essentially you are running and running and running and occasionally hiding. Most frustrating there is no way to attack a Dark Rider so run and run and run some more. The characters you gather all have special abilities but they are all defensive in nature. Why not throw in, say, Gildor who has the one time ability to frighten a rider away. (The elf then leaves the game perhaps heading to the Grey Havens.) Also why not add a barrow-white into the mix for some variety.
When I first saw this I was excited. After a few playings I was disappointed. I stuck with it, however, and once I figured out what was going on now find myself addicted to it. Even when you figure things out the game is difficult to win. The characters sprinkled onto the map give you both strategic and tactical choices to make for victory. Do you follow the book and meet all of them or do you bypass some looking to save time? Do you put on the ring to hide from spying birds or do resist the temptation?
If you've read this far and want to play I found this web page...
...that tells you all you need to know. So give it a try and maybe we'll meet up on the road to Rivendell. A chance meeting as we say in Middle Earth.